Seeking a return to Congress, Sacramento County Republican Doug Ose has released a radio ad branding himself a hero of the taxpayer. Here’s the text of the one-minute radio spot and an analysis by Christopher Cadelago of The Bee Capitol Bureau:
While his statement is true, and the ad accurately characterizes his votes, it lacks context. In four years that records show Ose earned the “hero” award, it was given to House members at least 712 times.
The honor was provided annually by Americans for Tax Reform, the anti-tax group led by Grover Norquist. ATR has for years offered a pledge for officials and candidates to sign in which they promise not to raise taxes. A 2008 news release from Ose’s office states he signed the pledge as a first-time candidate in 1998, though ATR did not respond to repeated requests for information after reviewing a list of questions from The Bee.
After winning the seat, Ose was listed as a signer in 1999, and again in 2000 and 2002. He took the pledge when he unsuccessfully sought another seat in 2008.
ATR has ceased issuing scores to lawmakers, but Ose averaged a 90.5 percent score from the group over his six years in Congress. He never scored lower than 85 percent, the apparent threshold for being named a “hero” or “friend.” In that time, for example, former GOP Rep. Wally Herger, R-Chico, averaged a score of 98.25 percent while ex-Rep. John Doolittle, R-Rocklin, scored 87.5 percent. Lawmakers with low scores were considered “enemies” of the taxpayer.
Ose earned the “hero” award at least four times, and possibly as many as six.
HOW TRUE IS IT?